[Marxism] Marxist critique of Leninism

Daniel Koechlin d.koechlin at wanadoo.fr
Wed Jan 30 15:25:11 MST 2013

 >>"I agree with much of your argument, Dan, but the alternative form of
socialist organization you propose strikes me as no less dogmatic and
no less easily diverted into quibbling over vocabulary.


Which is why the labouring class must educate itself, become more aware 
of its own strength and the mechanisms used by the upper class to keep 
it in subservience... the labouring class must emancipate itself.

And it can only do this through the class organizations at its disposal 
: the unions.

Unions may not seem revolutionary, especially when their leadership 
strikes deals with the powers-that-be to better control and divide the 
working class. However, unions are composed of thousands of shop 
branches, in thousands of industries. In each local workplace, unions 
provide a place where workers can come together and express their 
grievances. They may be unable to act because of fear, but these local 
sections represent the true seeds of a world organized by workers 

Each time workers get together and start voicing their frustration, they 
empower themselves, they become more determined and less fearfull of 
management. And they organize themselves. They exchange information. 
They learn about contract law, labour rights and what others in the same 
industry are doing.

So it makes sense for revolutionaries to promote REVOLUTIONARY UNIONS. 
Of course, these unions might encourage their members to vote for 
Socialist parties, but their aim is far more ambitious than simply 
having a party take over the levers of power. The objective of a 
revolutionary union is to REPLACE the entire Capitalist system and the 
present-day state apparatus with a democratic communist federation of 
workers' councils.

This is what Marx had in mind when he founded the 1st international in 
1864 : the founding of a world-wide federation of workers' unions that 
would educate themselves and organize themselves so as to be ready, when 
the corrupt Capitalist system began to crumble, to take over the running 
of the economy and society.

Unlike a party, a union is democratic : the base organizes itself and 
sends delegates that represent the views of the workers. As it is 
self-managing, each section tightly limits the powers given to those 
that represent it and can recall them at any time.

Building ONE GREAT UNION is less sexy, and more messy, than building the 
mass Communist Party of Workers and Peasants, but it is more rewarding 
in the long term. The workplace, the production centre, is the real 
point where workers can gather and discuss how Capitalism has made a 
real mess of things. Outside the workplace, they are paradoxically 
reduced to mere consumers and voters in this topsy-turvy world, this 
"Sheindemokratie", where nobody has any idea what anybody else is doing 
and where so-called "equality of opportunity" is the buzz word used by 
the élite to justify its dominance.

The working class must emancipate themselves. The party form is helpful 
in many regards, but even profound social engineering cannot produce an 
emancipated people, one that controls its own destiny through its 
democratic control of the means of production and distribution.

Join, or form, a revolutionary union !

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